Black and white lock and keyWe all know it can be challenging to come up with secure passwords that will protect your information from online crooks. The crooks are, in fact, becoming more and more savvy with each passing year.

To protect your information, you should choose secure passwords that comply with high standards of protection. Here are a few recommended methods that can help you create a strong password you will actually remember, yet no one should guess.

 

Here are Some Guidelines for Good Password Creation

  • Use at least 8 characters
  • Do not include your name, address, phone number, birthday, family names, etc.
  • Do not use any complete words
  • Avoid consecutive numbers (ex. 1234) and double letters or numbers (ex. 55)
  • Include at least one character from each of the following categories: upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, and symbols (including spaces)
  • Consider working from a phrase that is familiar to you, such as “I love Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches,” but translating it into characters that fall within the categories above. For example: 4IluV, pb&Js&w. This will help the password be more memorable to you.
  • Consider spelling your phrase backwards, and replacing certain letters with characters (for example, replace O with () or A with @)

Finally a few more relevant tips around password security: create a unique password for each login credential needed (ie. don’t recycle passwords); try to change your passwords every six months; don’t write your passwords down (unless you’re keeping a copy in a safe somewhere); and don’t use an online password generator, as there is no way of guaranteeing their security.

With a little practice, it should be come easier for you to come up with strong passwords. There can be method to the madness–you just need to make sure it makes sense to you, and can’t be guessed by others.

Here are some articles on how to generate secure passwords.

Microsoft’s guidelines on creating a strong, secure password

What password guessers look for

25 worst passwords of 2013, according to PC Magazine

LimeTech Solutions provides IT consulting services and technical support to startups, small businesses, and entrepreneurs in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. You can get in touch anytime for a free consultation with a LimeTech IT expert.

Flickr Photo Credit: JanetR3

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